The Green Iguana poses a serious threat to native and endangered species in Florida. The iguana is considered an invasive species in our state, and more than just a pest to property owners, this lizard can cause extensive damage and spread disease throughout our community. Green iguanas leave droppings on docks, moored boats, seawalls, porches, decks, pool platforms and inside swimming pools. As is the case with other reptiles, green iguanas can transmit the infectious bacterium Salmonella to humans through contact with water or surfaces contaminated by their feces. The State of Florida does not recognize iguanas as a protected species, except by anti-cruelty laws. As such, there are several ways property owners can deal with invasive iguanas including habitat modification, trapping and humane removal. Property owners can reduce the habitat that is attractive to iguanas by removing foliage, fruit or flowers they consume and prefer for nesting; spray them with water to encourage relocation; and fill holes used for burrowing to make a property less inviting to these species. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission encourages property owners to capture and remove iguanas whenever possible, but iguanas cannot be relocated or released into the wild.
Due to the explosive population growth of green iguanas, and the increase in calls from residents demanding removal, the City has hired a trapping company to humanely remove iguanas from City-owned facilities and other public places. Private property owners are strongly encouraged to do the same. Prior to deployment, contractors notify police dispatch that they will be working in a specified area. Trappers are licensed by the Department of Agriculture and Florida Fish and Wildlife to carry and use pellet air rifles for humane removal. They can be clearly identified by their bright florescent orange shirts with large letters that indicate “Wildlife Trapper.” Crews working on behalf of the City are authorized to be on City property, within the public right-of-way, and in other public places. If you have questions or concerns regarding iguana control, please call the Department of Public Works at 954.967.4526.